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    One of the greatest editions of Cubs franchise history...

    1885 Chicago White Stockings Team Photograph.
    "Grow a mustache or you have to sit at the end," appears to have been the standard for the photographer who documented his brush with 19th century baseball greatness with this glorious studio shot of the National League Champions in 1885. Don't let the name fool you--this founding franchise of the National League in 1876 would adopt its "Cubs" nickname in 1903, having surrendered its footwear-related moniker to the upstart American League club in 1901.

    The staggering dominance of this Cubs forebear--87-25 for a .777 winning percentage--begins to make more sense as we identify the gentlemen who pose for this dignified studio shot. That's the legendary Cap Anson standing tallest in the back row, the first resident of the 3,000 hit clubhouse. At his left shoulder is 1884 Home Run King Ned Williamson, whose twenty-seven long balls that year was the record Babe Ruth would break in 1919. One more step to Anson's left finds Mike "King" Kelly, sandwiched between 1884 and 1886 batting titles. Notching a league-topping fifty-three (!!) pitching victories in 1885 is Hall of Fame right-hander John Clarkson, seated second from right. Billy Sunday, who would rise to prominence as the early twentieth century's most influential American evangelist, appears at far left. And looking over his left shoulder is George "Piano Legs" Gore, 1880 batting champion and a figure often advocated from veteran's committee Hall of Fame induction. A powerhouse ensemble, to put it mildly.

    The sepia image measures 5.75x8" in size and presents without any condition concerns worthy of mention. The only faults appear in the wide borders of the mount, water staining that remains well clear of the photo itself. Unquestionably one of the most important photos to emerge from the first quarter-century of the Major Leagues.

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    Auction Dates
    February, 2018
    24th-25th Saturday-Sunday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 14
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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